College of Nursing Alumni Society Awards

We invite you to nominate a colleague for one of these awards to be presented at The Ohio State University College of Nursing recognition ceremony during Homecoming weekend in the fall.

Nomination period is currently closed.

All College of Nursing alumni are eligible*, including:

  • All undergraduate nursing alumni, including RN to BSN, and the traditional BSN
  • Bachelor of Science of Health and Wellness alumni
  • Master of Science in Nursing alumni
  • Masters in Healthcare Innovation alumni
  • Master of Clinical Research alumni
  • All Doctor of Nursing Practice program alumni
  • Doctor of Nursing Education program alumni
  • PhD program alumni

*Current members of the Alumni Society Board of Governors are not eligible for these awards. Previous recipients are not eligible for the same award.

Nomination Checklist

We recommend uploading the following documentation all at once. Once a nomination is submitted, it cannot be edited.

  • Nominating statement limited to three, single spaced pages.
  • Letters of support, limited to three.
  • Current curriculum vitae or resume.

Other things nominators will share in the form:

  • Nominator name, email, and phone number
  • Nominee name, email, employer, and phone number

The Nursing Alumni Society Awards Committee will determine which award is best suited for each nominee based on their credentials and experiences.

Distinguished Alumna/us Award

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to an Ohio State College of Nursing graduate in any of the degrees conferred by the college. This is in recognition of and appreciation for exceptional achievement in their career. The recipient of this award exemplifies the mission and vision of the College of Nursing while providing inspiration for current students, faculty and alumni. Professional areas for consideration include one or more of the following: practice excellence, education, community service, health equity and diversity/inclusion, innovation, health and wellness initiatives, administration, professional writing, evidence-based practice, research or public service.

Current Award Recipient
Ann FarahAnn Livingston Farah, MEd, MSN, PNP, NNP, Certified TESOL

As a neonatal nurse practitioner at Fairview Hospital with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ann has exemplified exceptional leadership, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to advancing the field of neonatal nursing through research and education. Her expertise and commitment to the field of neonatal nursing and patient care are evident through her extensive involvement in quality improvement projects, research initiatives and educational advancements. One of Ann’s notable achievements is her interdisciplinary approach to addressing the impact of prenatal substance use disorders on neonates. Her collaboration with clinicians and researchers from multiple disciplines has shed light on the devastating effects substance use disorders have on infants, families and communities. Ann has taken the lead in her institution’s NAS/NOWS Committee and actively participates in the Area NAS/NOWS network, making a significant impact in promoting best practices and improving outcomes for newborns and families affected by substance abuse. She selflessly volunteers her time and expertise in coaching and judging high school speech competitions, demonstrates leadership within an inclusive faith community and provided English language support at a local refugee center.

Past Award Recipients
1984 Patricia Sloan
1985 Mary Silva
1986 Mary Donohue
1987 Ella Kick
1988 Lois Johns

Marie Collart
Constance Collins
Elaine Glass
Ada Lindsey
Mary MacVicar
Kathryn Peppe
Mary Perley
Dorothea Rye
Betty Schmoll
Ethelrine Shaw-Nickerson
1990 Ellen Rudy
1991 Deborah Coleman
Carol Jenkins
2000 Elizabeth Pitorak
2001 Kitty Kisker
2002 Beverly Hampton
2003 Kristine Campbell
2004 Lillian Bernhagen
2005 Suzanne DeWoody
2008 Jeffrey Jones
Joan Wessman
Clarann Weinert
2009 Kathryn Peppe
2010 Mary Ann Wilcox
2011 Phyllis Kaldor
2012 Danette Birkhimer
2013 Kathleen Lux
2014 100 Alumni Transformers
2015 Adele Webb
2016 Pamela Greene
2017 Cynthia Moore-Hardy
2018 Linda Amos
2019 Eric A. Yap
2020 Judy Ressallat
2021 Sandra Cornett
Maureen Musto
2022 Sally W. Morgan
Amy K. Spangler

Distinguished Recent Alumna/us Award

The Distinguished Recent Alumni Award is given to an Ohio State College of Nursing alum who has graduated within the past 10 years. This award is in honor and appreciation of accomplishments that exemplify outstanding early career achievement in at least one of the following areas of practice excellence, innovation, community service, health equity and diversity/inclusion, health and wellness initiatives, education, administration, evidence-based practice, research or commendable public service.

Current Award Recipient
Kristen HillKristen M. Hill, MS, APRN-CNS, AGCNS-BC

Kristen is a model clinical nurse specialist (CNS) who is revolutionizing the role of the CNS at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. She is an expert educator who has taught nurses about the nuances of care for transplant patients, patients on hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Her involvement with peritoneal dialysis is vast; she established and co-chairs the Peritoneal Dialysis Operations Council with one of the nephrologists. She promotes the CNS profession as a published author in research – notably for peer mentoring – and developed her own podcast where she breaks down niche healthcare topics alphabetically and hosts other CNSs, nurses or experts on the topic she is covering. This unrelenting perseverance and professionalism helped her earn a grant from the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare through The Ohio State University College of Nursing last year. Kristen is also committed to her membership in the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, where she has spent the past four years as a contributing member of the subcommittee for awards and scholarships.

Past Award Recipients
2003 Jon Mickle
2004 Robin Rosselet
2005 Angie Overholt
2006 Theresa Skybo
2008 Andrew Betz
2009 Jodi McDaniel
2010 Jill Kilanowski
2011 Christopher Tod Brindle
2012 Pattama Ulrich
2013 Carrie Keib
2015 Denise Minor
2016 Sarah Meyer
2017 Stephen Roller
2018 Rebecca Taylor
2019 Tim Raderstorf
2020 Calli Cook
2021 Justin Kelly

Community Service Award

The Community Service Award is presented to an Ohio State College of Nursing graduate in honor of the significant contributions of time, actions, talents and dedication made to improve the health of the community (local, regional, national or global) including advocacy in health equity and diversity/inclusion in the community. The awardee promotes the health of the community through sustained professional and/or volunteer work. The recipient serves as a model for compassion and service to others.

Current Award Recipient
Cheryl SchmidtCheryl K. Schmidt, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN

Cheryl has taught community health nursing to baccalaureate nursing students since 1975 and currently teaches at Arizona State University. She is a certified nurse educator, a Fellow in the National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nursing Education and a Fellow in the American Nurses Association (ANA) Academy of Nursing. She has served in leadership positions for the ANA and as a consultant to the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) at the local, state and national levels. Cheryl has been a volunteer nurse in the American Red Cross since 1974 and has taught disaster preparedness education to healthcare professionals, nursing students and community members throughout the United States. In 2014, she was selected as one of “100 Nursing and Healthcare Transformers” during The Ohio State University 100th Anniversary Gala. She also serves as a member of the Research Committee of the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center (VEMEC). Cheryl is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War.

Past Award Recipients
2003 Margaret Flowers
2004 Jessie Pergrin
2005 Elsie Williams-Wilson
2006 Saundra Theis
2008 Debbie Cannon Freece
2009 Carol Baker
2010 Carol Prince
2011 Kitty Kisker
2015 John Welch
2016 Kristine Weiss Adams
2017 Janet Hussong
2018 Ann Marie Stalter-Justice
2019 Amy M. Provenzano
2020 Karen Lane
2021 Alexandria Jones
2022 Da’na M. Langford

Mildred E. Newton Distinguished Educator Award

The Mildred E. Newton Distinguished Educator Award honors an Ohio State College of Nursing graduate who has served, or is currently serving, as an educator or dean of a nationally accredited college/school of nursing. The Awardee’s personal integrity, leadership, commitment to nursing education and advancement of nursing science has contributed significantly to the advancement of the nursing profession and the preparation of the next generation of nurses. The following exemplars will be considered: teaching, evidence-based practice, research, publication, leadership in the professional communities at the state, national or global levels, or public service.

Current Award Recipient
Deborah UlrichDeborah L. Ulrich, PhD, RN, ANEF

Deborah’s scholarship in teaching and learning concentrates on the evidence supporting creative teaching strategies. Her books, co-authored with Kelly Glendon, changed the face of nursing education. The first book, Interactive Group Learning: Strategies for Nurse Educators (written in 1999) continues to provide nurse educators with a plethora of strategies to engage students in active learning. Her second book, Unfolding Case Studies: Experiencing the Realities of Clinical Nursing Practice, offers student nurses a workbook for adopting thoughtful and safe nursing actions. From this work, Deborah has published numerous manuscripts in peer reviewed journals, and for many decades she presented workshops about her teaching strategies at almost every professional nursing education conference across the country. In addition to her teaching accomplishments. Deborah has developed curricula and led two new nursing programs and has served as an academic leader at Wright State University. This designation is a testament of her outstanding accomplishments as both a nurse educator and administrator.

Past Award Recipients
2003 Ada Lindsey
2004 Marilyn Sommers
2005 Zaiga Kalnins
2006 Marilyn Rothert
2010 Davina Gosnell
2011 Karen Ahijevych
2012 Edna Menke
2013 Barbara Warren
2015 Jeri Milstead
2016 Susan Frazier
2017 Colleen Keller
2018 Betsy Frank
2019 Charold Lee Baer
2020 Janet S. Fulton
2021 Jeffrey Jones
2022 Ann M. Smith


Champion of Healthcare Award(new in 2023!)

An award given to a College of Nursing graduate, of any program, who demonstrates exceptional leadership and action in policy, advocacy, legislature and leadership to improve the healthcare systems either on a national, state, or local level. (ex: a graduate of the college that becomes a congressperson who advocates for healthcare policy)

Current Award Recipient
Esther ChippsEsther M. Chipps, PhD, RN

Throughout her career, Esther has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the conduct of nursing research in the clinical setting and has made extraordinary contributions to nursing science. She is highly skilled in research methodology and statistics, and she goes above and beyond to make research achievable and a lived experience for clinical nurses practicing at the bedside. Esther has spent the last 16 years serving as a clinical nurse scientist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where she has also worked in numerous leadership roles since 1986. She has served in many other capacities to advance science, including membership on The Ohio State University Institutional Research Board and Collaborative Research Council. She actively participates in multiple professional organizations, including the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, American Nurses Association, Midwest Nursing Research Society and the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. She is also an active member of the Research Committee for the Association for Leadership Science in Nursing. She has served as a legislative liaison for the Ohio Nurses Association and on the Professional Advisory Committee of the Central Ohio Multiple Sclerosis Society. Esther has published more than 50 articles and presented 10 international papers, 16 national papers, 14 regional papers and a host of international, national and regional posters. Her ability to mentor and inspire others is outstanding, and she cares deeply for improving patient care through inquiry and scientific endeavors.

Bernadette Melnyk Mindstrong Award(new in 2023!)

An award given to a College of Nursing graduate, of any program, who demonstrates exceptional advocacy, leadership, administration, health equity and diversity/inclusion in the discipline of mental health.

Current Award Recipient
Kate GawlikKate E. Gawlik, DNP, RN, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP

As a clinician, Kate has worked at the local, state, national and international levels to promote cardiovascular health and wellness through the CDC’s Million Hearts® Initiative. In addition to a fellowship program, Kate developed ten different educational training programs for students, patients and healthcare professionals on promoting cardiovascular health through lifestyle modifications that are widely used in both academic and clinical settings. Kate received national American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) State Award of Excellence in 2018 and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Innovations in Professional Nursing Education Award in 2022 for her efforts. As the lead faculty for the Advanced Assessment online course at Ohio State’s College of Nursing, she integrates wellness into the curricula through online resources, reflection assignments and “lecturcizing,” a concept she developed that refers to the inclusion of physical activity within lectures to support student well-being. Kate has presented nationally and globally about incorporating wellness into academic programming and co-led a workgroup of the National Wellness Action Alliance to develop a faculty toolkit of teaching strategies to support student wellness. As a mom of four, she recognized the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on herself and her colleagues and led a study of working parent burnout. The results made headlines from America to Australia, including on NBC’s TODAY show, The New York Times and USA Today.

College of Nursing Alumni Award (not currently awarded)

The College of Nursing Alumni Award was presented to a College of Nursing Alumni Society Board member who demonstrated a sustained leadership role that exemplified exceptional leadership, regular participation, and encouragement of new ideas to meet the goals of the organization.

Past Award Recipients
2020 Peggy Agle
2021 Kristine Weiss Adams
2022 Teresa A. DiMeo